The 50′s will go down in history as the greatest decade of all time for science fiction films. During this 10 year period we were introduced to Godzilla, Rodan, giant insects and arachnids and of course every type of alien being bent on invading Earth imaginable. It truly was a great time to be a fan of not only movies, but of science fiction. Some of these films were great; some not so great. The one thing they all had in common though was great imaginations at a time where Hollywood was chock full of original ideas.
This is part four of my ongoing series covering the alien invasion films of the nineteen fifties. In the past I have reviewed THE MAN FROM PLANET X (see HERE), THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (see HERE) and one of my all time favorites, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (see HERE). Now I am here to review another great addition, INVADERS FROM MARS.
I have always loved werewolf films, perhaps even more than vampire films. There is just something about a creature that completely transforms from human to beast and then tears its victims to pieces. The problem with werewolf films is that in my experience, they are either really good or they just suck. Here I present to you a variety of werewolf films to satisfy anyone’s shape-shifting needs.
To me there are two types of lycanthropic films; the werewolf and the wolf man. Werewolf films feature monsters that look nothing like their human counterparts whereas wolf men retain some of the characteristics of the human form and in most cases. still wear the clothes that were worn before the transformation. This blog is about werewolves.
2013 marked G-FEST (Godzilla Festival’s) 20th gathering and I’d attended faithfully the last ten. Of all the conventions I’ve gone to, this one always has a special place in my heart because it gave me so many happy memories with my kids (as I tearfully explained once HERE). Not to mention, Godzilla fans are really more like family than just fellow enthusiasts which makes it more like an annual reunion as opposed to Expo. Unfortunately, the July weekend it took place this year couldn’t have presented more of a challenge for me as my Friday & Saturday was booked solid with events I was locked into attending.
From skeletons to zombies, if there’s one thing we can take away from a visit to MASK-FEST it’s that death is anything but the end!
During the Halloween season, I’ve always been partial to the mom and pop costume shops. For one thing, I like to support the little guy but, for another, they also tend to carry less of the mass produced products bigger chains do. Unfortunately those stores are becoming a rarity thanks, in large part, to chains such as Spirit Halloween and Halloween Town.
It really amazes me these days how certain movies are able to be made and get distributed even though they’re horrible and yet certain films, that are really good and original, can’t get a distribution deal to save its life! This was the case with Trick r Treat from 2007, a phenomenal Halloween-themed movie that took a good two years to see the light of day. It happened again just recently with the film The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond; a movie made in 2009 that just got released this month…four years later!
Next to where the cast members of THE THING reunion were signing, was the amazing THING-FEST! This private collection owned by super-fan, Joe Hart, would feature the largest acquisition of props and memorabilia from the 1982 John Carpenter classic.
Though born and raised in New Jersey (a childhood friend of Kevin Smith), Hart now resides with his wife in Canada. What makes him so exceptional isn’t simply that he’s a fan who’s amassed lots of amazing goods, but that he’s one who willingly shares them with the rest of us. He does this utilizing his own time and resources and, in doing so, enhances the overall experience for everyone; something never more evident than at the Days of the Dead Indianapolis!
I am constantly looking for new monster movies to watch, hopefully enjoy and then add to my movie collection. Unfortunately, more often than not, these films end up being comparable to a Syfy Channel movie of the week (in other words, it sucks). Thankfully, every once in awhile one comes along that stands out. Such is the case with the 2012 release of GRABBERS.
Like most conventions, the 2013 Indianapolis Days of the Dead was spread across several large rooms at the hotel. Russ and I left the beautiful Jordan Ladd (a meeting covered in my last chapter) and embarked on what was to be the first of many walk throughs (which is why you’ll see us wearing different clothes in this post) of the dealer’s room. There were actually two main rooms designated for dealers, with some located out in the adjoining hallways. Although there were other guests we planned on meeting, they were located in one of these areas as opposed to the one exclusive to celebs
Since I was a kid I have been a fan of kaiju films. Every Saturday afternoon I would sit in front of the television set watching that week’s installment of the Creature Double Feature, as they showed such great films as Rodan, War Of The Gargantuas, Frankenstein Conquers The World and a whole variety of Godzilla and Gamera films. Yes they were cheesy but they were also a lot of fun and they are one of my fondest memories growing up.
(From Midnight Syndicate) On July 19, Midnight Syndicate will release it’s sixteenth studio album, “Monsters of Legend.” This “tribute to the golden age of horror” will feature sweeping symphonic horror instrumental music and sound effects in the signature style the band pioneered. “We want to make you feel like you are a character in one of those classic horror films – that you’ve entered a world where any one of the iconic characters from the Universal Horror and Hammer Films could be right around the corner,” said composer Edward Douglas.
It was after 8pm when I walked out of Horrorhound Weekend’s main convention hall during its opening Friday night. While maneuvering past the immense line of patrons (still looking to gain access) I walked across the street to The Crown Plaza hoping to catch a screening of The Profane Exhibit. It’s a new Italian film written and directed by Ruggero Deodato whom I’d met a couple of years back in Massachusetts. As the previous film was still playing, I took a seat in a comfy, lounge chair located outside the room. I was in the process of checking my phone messages when I heard a familiar voice call, “Hey Dave!”
Growing up I wasn’t actually a monster fan until I was in my early teens. I will always remember though around when I was 7 I received an Aurora Dracula model kit (and my brother got the Frankenstein kit). These kits had the glow in the dark feature and there were times I would lay in bed at night watching them glow, wondering if they would attack me when I fell asleep. Thankfully they did not and these kits may have actually have been what lead me to my love of all things monsters.
So far as this Monster Kid was concerned, December 25, 1978 would rank as my finest Christmas haul EVER! Not only did I receive my STAR WARS Creature Cantina along with its monster denizens, but also a big green monster I’d long been pining for. No, not The Incredible Hulk…I’m referring to the infamous Stretch Monster!
G-FEST (Godzilla Festival) is the quintessential celebration of Godzilla and all his fellow Kaiju (Japanese Monsters). I’ve been a fan of Godzilla and Gamera ever since I was a kid. Growing up in the 1970′s, it was via shows like Creature Features or The Son of Svengoolie to bring those movies to me. People who did not grow up with a horror host usually have a hard time understanding why some of us adult fans get so weepy with adulation at the mere mention of our childhood ghoul. Well, when you’re a “monster kid,” surrounded by more “normal” kids who want to play baseball or watch The Dukes of Hazard, the person faithfully delivering your favorite films becomes more than just a TV star, he becomes your idol…one of Godzilla proportions. In my case it also helped that I found my host’s corny humor hilarious and his less than stellar singing voice pitch perfect.
I have to say, this is one of those blogs that I almost hate myself for writing. Generally when I critique a movie I try and keep it focused on the mainstream/bigger budget stuff because, in my view, it’s open game. People have assumed that this means I turn a blind eye to Independent films or that I don’t support them. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have a great deal of respect for Independent films which is why I hate criticizing them. Especially in this case when its a rare modern “monster movie” that features old school FX.
I became a fan of Tim Burton early on because of THE Nightmare Before Christmas and ED WOOD which came out the following year. I anticipated every thing he did after that but never did he seem to match that initial first impression I got from those two films. I had learned after that he had been responsible for PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, BEETLEJUICE, and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.
TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES is pleased to announce the re-release of the quintessential guide to Chicago horror hosts and horror programming – “Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows: From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie!” I remember buying this book at “Horrorbles” in Berrrr-wyn, Illinois during its first release. As a die-hard Rich Koz/Svengoolie fan, I was elated to see his visage on the cover of a book. It seems so odd now but, when I look back, I actually used to feel isolated in my fandom of him. Thanks to the Internet and the Svengoolie YAHOO forum I soon discovered that I was far from alone. And, thanks to THIS book, it filled in a lot of Svengoolie-gaps in information that I had been unaware of…
It had been two years since I’d last visited Kenosha’s Jerry Smith Pumpkin Farm but seemed like a lifetime. This was the site where Wisconsin Horror Host, Dr. Destruction, and I sat down and talked for the very first time. The occasion was shared here on this blog (click HERE if you’re feeling nostalgic) as well as an issue of Scary Monsters Magazine. We sat in back of his hand crafted “Gypsy Wagon” and talked about horror hosting. I believe I left out the part where he and I went out afterwards to a local pizza place and drank too much whiskey and that the last hour of our conversation was slurred, but really what did that have to do with the story anyway? Let’s just say it helped facilitate a rather unusual friendship that still exists today.
I was delighted when my daughter, Jade, asked me to take her to see HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA for her 11th birthday. I picked her and her sister up after work and made a quick post on Facebook that I was “taking my girls” to see the film its opening night. When co-running a horror blog, sometimes using your kids as a “beard” is necessary in maintaining your Terror image when partaking in less fearsome, “animated features.” Despite my cowardice on Social Media, I must confess here that, after viewing the preview for this film a month ago, I had every intention of seeing it with or without them!
Just prior to Svengoolie’s first appearance at G-FEST (Godzilla Festival which we covered HERE), the National Horror Host who was tantamount in cultivating my own love of the Big G, agreed to an interview specifically geared to Japan’s greatest export…